Muslims will grow, “nones” will lose market share and Christians will hold steady, according to new projections from the Pew Research Center.
The report predicts Muslims will overtake Christians by 2050.
India, now mostly Hindu, will become the world’s largest Muslim country.
The numbers of people with no religious identity will soar in the United States and Europe, but the unaffiliated will lose worldwide market share as Christians maintain a steady growth.
All these changes are drawn from the Pew Research Center’s new projections that map global faith traditions and how they’re likely to shift by 2050.
AMONG THE FINDINGS:
As of 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third of the Earth’s 6.9 billion people. Islam came in second, with 1.6 billion adherents, or 23 percent of the global population.” Four in 10 of all the world’s Christians will live in sub-Saharan Africa by 2050.
•While Christian numbers will continue to grow, Muslims, who are younger and have a higher birth rate, will outpace them. By 2050, “there will be near parity between Muslims (2.8 billion, or 30 percent of the population) and Christians (2.9 billion, or 31 percent), possibly for the first time in history.” Barring unforeseen events — war, famine, disease, political upheaval and more — Muslim numbers will surpass Christians after 2070.
•Worldwide, the unaffiliated will fall from 16 percent to 13 percent.